Home Expat Life How the heck do we do laundry???

How the heck do we do laundry???

by admin


One of the small struggles we face here, when moving to a new country, is to figure out how to navigate the little things that we take for granted at home.

Something as simple as laundry is confusing here for us, because it’s a different system than at home. First off, Susete and I are lucky enough to even have a washing machine in our apartment at all. Many apartments don’t have one.

Today we decided todo our first load of laundry, and quickly realized that the compartments are different, the dials are different, and the labels/symbols are different. So, how the heck are we going to do thi? What settings do we put? Where does the soap go?


Eventually I figured out which compartment the detergent goes in for the “main wash”. Apparently there’s also a compartment for “pre-wash” as well, but we don’t have that at home, so I just didn’t bother with that.

It seems as though one dial on the control panel is to set the temperature… we put it at 40…. just because. The larger dial, I put on “rápido”, thinking it’s good to use the quick setting.


I press “play” and the humming starts. After about 20 minutes, there’s still humming, but nothing’s moving, so we know it’s not working. Susete fiddled with the dials a bit… eventually just put the dials to 40 and 40… and off it goes! We’ll see how long it takes, and hopefully our clothes are nice and clean. We have no dryer, so we do it old school style, in this old school neighbourhood. Hang it from lines from the window. I feel like a true old Portuguese grandma. Ahhh… settling into the life of a local. 🙂

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2 comments

Carol March 21, 2017 - 11:14 pm

And the verdict is ?

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admin March 26, 2017 - 8:26 am

Now we set the left dial at 30, and the right dial at “Rapido”. Seems to be consistent now, at about 1.5hrs. Now our problem we’re figuring out is having to hang our laundry outside to dry… when it rains (which it has been), everything gets soaked, and it will take about 4 days of sunshine to dry it up. Fun!

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